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#pounditThursday, August 18, 2022

Mike Trout

Angels send message about potential Mike Trout return

Mike Trout in his Angels uniform

May 14, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) jogs to the dugout during the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

With the Los Angeles Angels fading from the playoff picture, the team might be tempted to shut Mike Trout down for the season. Manager Phil Nevin certainly made clear Sunday that will not be happening.

Trout has been taking batting practice and is scheduled to face living pitching soon, Nevin said via MLB.com. Trout may not even need a rehab assignment, and the team expects him back before the end of the month.

Trout has not played since July 12 due to a lingering back injury. The issue sounds quite significant long-term, but there has never been much talk from either Trout or the Angels that it will prevent him from returning before the end of the season.

The star center fielder is putting together a customarily strong campaign, with a .270 average and 24 home runs in 79 games. In spite of that, the Angels entered play Sunday with a 50-64 record, and are set to miss the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season.

Everyone made the same joke about Mike Trout’s back injury

Mike Trout looks on

July 30, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) following the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The bad news about Mike Trout was revealed on Wednesday: he’s dealing with a rare back condition that he will need to manage for the rest of his career. The good news is Trout says the condition isn’t anywhere near as serious as it was made out to be.

Now that we have that out of the way and know that Trout says the situation is overblown, we can have a few laughs. Namely, everyone was making the same joke about how Trout ended up hurt.

You can probably guess where this one was going.

Trout has been with the Angels since being called up in 2011 at age 19. His first full season with the team came in 2012. The Angels had winning seasons in three of Trout’s first four full seasons, making the playoffs in 2014. But it’s been all downhill since then.

The Angels haven’t had a winning record since 2015 even though Trout has been putting up Hall of Fame numbers. Maybe metaphorically carrying that team is what hurt his back.

Mike Trout dealing with injury that could plague him for rest of his career?

Mike Trout in his Angels uniform

May 14, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) jogs to the dugout during the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels continue to find new rock bottoms.

Angels head trainer Mike Frostad revealed Wednesday that star outfielder Mike Trout, who has missed the last couple of weeks with a back injury, is dealing with a “rare” condition called costovertebral dysfunction at T5.

“This is a pretty rare condition that he has right now in his back,” Frostad said, per Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register. “[Dr. Robert Watkins], one of the most well-known spine surgeons in the country, if not the world, doesn’t see a lot of these. For it to happen in a baseball player, we just have to take into consideration what he puts himself through with hitting, swinging on a daily basis just to get prepared and then also playing in the outfield, diving for balls … There’s so many things that can aggravate it, but this doctor hasn’t seen a lot of it.

“Long-term, we do have to look at this as something that he has to manage not just through the rest of this season, but also through the rest of his career, probably,” Frostad added about Trout.

Frostad also said the team hopes that Trout will not miss the rest of the year but admits that they have not had that discussion yet. You can see Frostad’s full comments on Trout’s condition and progress towards a return here.

The three-time AL MVP Trout is hitting .270 with 24 home runs and 51 RBIs in 79 games this season, one year after he was limited to just 36 games played thanks to a calf injury. He will turn 31 next month and is under contract with the Angels through the 2030 season.

For his part, Trout told Fletcher that the concern is overblown, adding that he will play again this year and is not concerned about his career.

Injuries to the back are obviously concerning for baseball players, and it was a back issue that helped bring about an early end to this MLB star’s career. Trout is a generational talent with the potential to go down as the GOAT by the time he retires. All fingers (and all toes, for that matter) will be crossed that Trout’s back issue is indeed, as he indicates here, a minimal concern.

Mike Trout calls out new commissioner of fantasy football league

Mike Trout in his Angels uniform

May 14, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) jogs to the dugout during the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Trout is no longer the commissioner of the infamous fantasy football league that led to a physical altercation between two MLB players, and the Los Angeles Angels star is not thrilled with his replacement.

Trout stepped down as commissioner of the league last month after Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy was invited to join. Portnoy offered to assign a “dork who works for me to be new commish,” and Steven Cheah accepted the job. With less than two months to go until the start of the 2022 NFL season, Trout says things have not gone smoothly for Cheah.

“We’ve had some hiccups so far. It hasn’t gone smooth. He’s on the hot seat, for sure,” Trout said. “A lot of confusion going on. I’m not going to say anything in particular. There’s still a month and a half, time’s ticking, we’ve gotta get this thing cleaned up.”

Of course, Pham would say Trout is not one to talk. Pham served a three-game suspension in May for slapping Pederson over accusations that Pederson cheated in the fantasy league (video here). The Cincinnati Reds outfielder blamed Trout for not resolving the dispute and failing to properly enforce the rules for the league, which is primarily made up of MLB stars.

The story has been surreal on many levels, but we are extremely grateful for it.

Mike Trout makes big announcement about WBC

Mike Trout looks on

July 30, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) following the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Trout made a big announcement on Monday from the site of this year’s All-Star Game.

Trout shared that he will be participating in the World Baseball Classic for the first time in his career. Not only that, but he will be the captain of the United States team.

The World Baseball Classic was last played in 2017 and won by the USA. The event was set to be played again in 2021, but it was canceled due to the pandemic and pushed back to 2023.

Trout’s announcement came the same day the Los Angeles Angels placed him on the injured list due to ribcage inflammation. The star center fielder had missed the Angels’ most recent four games entering the All-Star break.

The timing of his announcement may have been intended to make it up to fans that he’s not playing in the All-Star Game. Also, having Trout participate in the WBC for the first time — and serve as captain — could encourage other stars to join him.

The 30-year-old is batting .270 with 24 home runs and a .967 OPS this season.

Video: Mike Trout pointed out that Angels reliever was tipping pitches

Mike Trout looks on

July 30, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) following the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels dropped to 36-41 after an 11-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, and Mike Trout seemed visibly frustrated with one of his teammates.

Angels reliever Elvis Peguero came on in the sixth inning and gave up four earned runs on two hits and two walks in 0.2 innings. Peguero was tipping his pitches, and cameras caught Trout in center field demonstrating how the pitcher was doing so. Trout was seemingly showing Peguero how to fix the problem.

The Angels broadcast explained the issue. Whenever Peguero came set on the mound with his pitching glove held higher, the White Sox knew to look for a breaking ball. When his glove was a bit lower, a fastball was the likely pitch. Trout saw from center field that Peguero’s glove positioning prior to throwing the ball was giving Chicago’s hitters an indication of the pitch to come.

After the game, Peguero said that he didn’t realize that he was tipping until he saw the video of Trout after the game.

Tuesday’s loss could’ve been especially frustrating for Trout because the team wasted great offensive performances from both him and Shohei Ohtani. Trout went 1-for-4 with a solo home run, while Ohtani had three hits, including a homer and two RBI, and eight total bases.

This wasn’t the only pitch-tipping incident the Angels have been involved in this year.

Mike Trout sounded off about pitch near his head

Mike Trout looks on

July 30, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) following the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Trout was nearly hit by a pitch during the ninth inning on Saturday night before the Seattle Mariners decided to intentionally walk him. The Los Angeles Angels star seemed to think the high-and-tight pitch was intentional, and he was not happy about it.

After the Angels’ 5-3 loss, Trout was critical of Mariners right-hander Erik Swanson for throwing a pitch near his head. The ball went to the backstop and allowed a runner to advance from first to second. Seattle put Trout on after that.

“If you can’t pitch inside, don’t pitch inside,” Trout said, via MLB.com’s Daniel Kramer. “If you’re going to hit me, hit me in the ribs, don’t hit me in the head. I don’t know if that was the intent, but anything at the head, you don’t do that.”

Swanson said he was simply trying to pitch up and in, which is the weakest part of the zone for Trout.

“You’re trying to go up right there,” the pitcher said. “If I’m going to miss up, that’s where I want to miss, especially to a hitter like that. The guy is one of, if not the best, hitters in the entire league, and if I’m going to miss, I need to miss up with that.”

Shohei Ohtani came to the plate as the go-ahead run after Trout. He lined out to end the game, so Swanson and the Mariners got the job done.

It seems unlikely that Swanson was intentionally head-hunting in that situation. Trout was probably just frustrated that the Angels lost for the fourth time in five games.

Mike Trout makes MLB history with latest home run

Mike Trout looks on

July 30, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) following the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Trout accomplished something over the weekend that has never been done before in MLB history.

Trout had a huge series against the Seattle Mariners, which saw the Angels take four of five. Trout was integral to every win by hitting what was technically the game-winning home run. His third inning homer gave the Angels the lead for good Thursday, then he hit a tenth inning tiebreaking shot in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. He homered again to give the Angels all they needed in the third inning of the nightcap, which turned out to be a shutout win.

Trout hit his fourth home run of the series on Sunday, a two-run blow in the 4th inning of a 4-0 win Sunday. Since the Angels got the shutout, that was also technically a game-winner, which made for an MLB first: Trout delivered a game-winning home run in four games of a single series.

This is a pretty niche record, but it’s a cool one for him to claim all the same. He now has 21 on the season and looks set for another MVP-caliber campaign. Given some of the anecdotes surrounding the Angels lately, Trout gives them at least one thing to be pleased with.

Alex Bregman gets hilarious award added to his stats page

Alex Bregman in his Houston Astros uniform

Oct 29, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman (2) prior to game six of the 2019 World Series against the Washington Nationals at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Trout revealed on Sunday that Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman won the fantasy football league that led to the recent dispute between Tommy Pham and Joc Pederson. Now, the accomplishment is listed as one of Bregman’s three career individual awards on Baseball-Reference.

Under the “Appearances on Leaderboards, Awards, and Honors” section of Bregman’s Baseball-Reference page, there are three awards listed:

– 2018 American League All-Star MVP
– 2019 All-MLB Team 2
– Won Mike Trout’s Fantasy Football League.

Yes, that seriously has been added to Bregman’s page.

One of the crazier stories of the 2022 MLB season so far is now immortalized on the website. Pham served a three-game suspension in May for slapping Pederson over accusations that Pederson was cheating by stashing players on the injured list in their fantasy league. Pederson denied that he cheated.

After his suspension, Pham assigned blame to Trout, the league’s commissioner, for Trout’s inability to resolve the dispute between Pham and Pederson. On Monday, members of the San Francisco Giants wore T-shirts with the message “Stashing players on the IR isn’t cheating” in support of Pederson.

While Trout is tired of this story in the headlines, Pham continues to address the issue.

Mike Trout reveals winner of infamous fantasy football league

Mike Trout looks on

July 30, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) following the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Trout on Sunday made a big revelation about the infamous fantasy football league that resulted in a fight between Tommy Pham and Joc Pederson.

Trout’s Los Angeles Angels faced the New York Mets on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball.” The Angels star participated in an in-game interview during the bottom of the fourth inning. That was when he made the revelation after being asked who won the league.

“Alex Bregman,” Trout said. “I told you that, now you’re not going to go ask him questions about this because it’s obviously over.”

Pham served a three-game suspension in May for slapping Pederson over accusations of Pederson cheating in the fantasy league (video here). Pederson denied that he was cheating. Pham also said that he felt disrespected by Pederson’s trash talk towards the San Diego Padres, Pham’s former squad. Pham ended up dropping out of the league.

After his suspension, Pham assigned blame to Trout for not being able to resolve the dispute between Pham and Pederson. As the league’s commissioner, Trout was responsible for making sure all rules were followed. The three-time MVP did not say he would resign as commissioner of the league for the upcoming season when reacting to Pham’s comments, and declined to say if Pederson did in fact break any rules.

Bregman and the Astros will play in next week’s “Sunday Night Baseball” game on ESPN against the Chicago White Sox. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s asked about the fantasy league at all, or if Trout’s wishes to move on will be honored.